CHS Pics | Since 1937, a Taste of Russia on Capitol Hill

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

IMG_7564Even as its neighborhood grows up around it, 13th Ave’s Saint Nicholas Cathedral continued 77 years of tradition Saturday with a day of crafts, caviar and vodka.

The annual Taste of Russia celebration on Capitol Hill usually coincides with the relatively gargantuan Greek Festival down in Montlake. On 13th, the lines were shorter and you could find way more caviar. Uncle Vanya’s Vodka Hunt surely finished off any regrets over missed gyros.

Consecrated in December 1937, Saint Nicholas has remained part of the neighborhood long after the communities it serves have drifted off the Hill and even as other are connections to the Motherland have been targeted for protest. Still, it remains an active and colorful neighborhood landmark — especially on the yearly Taste of Russia Saturday.

Last year, a construction project some 80 years in waiting was finished to complete the original plans for the cathedral.

The cathedral is located at 1714 13th Ave. You can learn more at

More pictures, below.


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City Council vote will pave way for new youth detention center at 12th and Alder

12th and Alder in a design rendering of "Concept A"

12th and Alder in a design rendering of “Concept A”

UPDATE: The Seattle City Council voted 8-1 Monday in favor of a land use bill that will give King County the ability to replace its crumbling Youth Detention Center at 12th and Alder.

Land use bills rarely evoke significant emotion or public attention, but Monday’s meeting drew a number of public commenters who opposed spending more money on a youth detention system that disproportionately detains African Americans.

Council member Kshama Sawant cast the lone “no” vote, saying the county should instead use a fraction of the estimated $200 million to repair the currently crumbling Youth Services Center and spend the rest on youth jobs programs. Council member Mike O’Brien said it was not up to the council to decide whether or not to continue investments in youth detention and that the old facility needed to be replaced.

Council members passed an amendment to the bill that would delay the implementation of the zoning changes until April 2015 so a racial impact study of building a new detention facility could be complete.

In 2012, 55% of voters approved a $210 million levy to build the new 144-bed facility. The existing center has 210 beds. Detention data shows the current center is typically less than half full.

The council bill would alter the zoning code to allow for construction of the new center, even though one already exists on the 9-acre site. The new facility, called the Children and Family Justice Center, will also include a courtroom and gymnasium:

The project includes building a new 136,992 square foot (sf) courthouse with 10 courtrooms, a new 98,031 sf juvenile detention facility with 154 dorms, and a new four-level parking structure with 440 spaces. The existing buildings will be demolished, leaving 2.8 acres of the county-owned property at 12th Avenue and Alder Street unused.

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Broadway Veterinary Hospital ready to provide Capitol Hill’s pets care morning, noon and night

The big, new, rotating sign on 12th Ave

The big, new, rotating sign on 12th Ave

In a city that happens to boast more canines than children, it should come as no surprise that pup-loving Capitol Hill has experienced a boom in dog-related businesses over the last few years. But these days, Broadway Veterinary Hospital sees a lot more than just routine visits from your average Fido and feline.

“Ferrets, rabbits, rodents, chickens, and I’ve seen my fair share of goats as well,” says owner and doctor of veterinary medicine Greg McWilliams about his range of clientele.

You may have noticed the newly raised red rotating sign on 12th Ave or extended hours — now open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm — just a couple of changes Broadway Veterinary Hospital has seen since McWilliams took over the practice in December of 2013.

Pet owners now have a new option for emergency care. Aside from wellness visits, vaccines, neuters, and dental, the hospital’s new emergency services mean the hospital can offer preventative and interventional care to combat severe illnesses and assist animals in critical care conditions.

A recent patient (Image: CHS)

A recent patient (Image: CHS)

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First-of-its-kind Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing building breaks ground on 12th Ave


(Images: CHS)

As the area ponders two new developments on the edges of Capitol Hill, a one-of-a-kind project in the heart of the Hill moved forward last week with a few little scoops and a big milestone.

Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing, a communal development where each resident is an equal member of a company that owns the entire project, broke ground Friday night next to the old 12th Ave masonry building that will be demolished to make way for four stories of co-ownership, co-construction, and co-management.
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Final designs unveiled for four-story Stencil at 24/Union, six-story Decibel at 11/Alder

You can someday walk across the street to Uncle Ike's from the planned Stencil building (Images: Johnston Architects)

You can someday walk across the street to Uncle Ike’s from the planned Stencil building (Images: Johnston Architects)

Two development projects in neighborhoods on the edges of Capitol Hill undergoing significant change will take what could be their final steps in the Seattle design review process Wednesday night.

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Look, a violin shop :)

2407 E Union
The second of two projects near 23rd and Union from developer Lake Union Partners had a pretty smooth go of its first East Design Board review earlier this year.

The four-story Stencil project is being planned as a 39-unit apartment building with 3,000 square feet of retail and two live/work units at ground level. The building will contain parking for 21 vehicles. In April, the board seemed amenable to the project’s few zoning departure requests and public comment was mostly about details like bulk, privacy and landscaping. Continue reading

No fear — You can still buy a Ferrari (or two) on Capitol Hill

If you were worried by the construction going on inside its 12th at Union showroom that you might have to rush to buy your new Ferrari before Ferrari and Maserati of Seattle leaves Capitol Hill, fear not.

The dealership isn’t going anywhere. Good news for those enjoying the soaring incomes of Seattle — and Bellevue, for that matter.

CHS has received a few notes asking about the dealership — the last auto retailer left on Capitol Hill — and whether it is joining the road traveled by other Hill dealerships that have shifted gears into new locations with room for spacious showrooms like SoDo.

CHS reported here way back in March 2012 on our last of its kind auto dealership’s plans to revamp its showroom and facilities in the 12th Ave building it has owned since the late 90s. 

The Perrina family owns the land its dealership calls home, acquiring the parcels in 1999 for $3.5 million. The dealership encompasses 33,000 square feet in warehouse and garage space, a 600 square-foot office and a 2,100 square-foot showroom. It also includes a small 135 square-foot parking lot that exits onto 11th Ave and is a good place to see the high performance cars heading out for a run in Pike/Pine. The single-story buildings the dealership calls home date to 1913, according to county records.

Meanwhile, the company behind the dealership hasn’t yet revealed plans for the E Madison auto-row era garage it purchased for $2.25 million a year ago this month. With neighboring business Chop Suey still apparently for sale, you can let your super fast car imagination run wild.

The project to overhaul the 12th at Union showroom boasts only a modest $340,000 construction budget, according to city records, though those totals typically don’t include costs for finishings and equipment. Meanwhile, cars worth from $120,000 to more than $380,000 continue to be sold. So, let’s see. Under the transit tax on November’s ballot, a big sale would mean $380 to fund Seattle bus routes. Thanks, fancy car buyers!

Enjoy 2 of Capitol Hill’s most anticipated summer, maybe fall Asian restaurant openings as Manao Thai debuts, Oma Bap celebrates

Blessing Day at Manao (Image: Manao Thai Street Eats)

Blessing Day at Manao (Image: Manao Thai Street Eats)

It’s time to start cashing in on the great Capitol Hill-area Asian food and drink wave of 2014. Two more from our only partly tongue in cheek 9 of Capitol Hill’s most anticipated summer, maybe fall Asian restaurant openings… ever invite you to stop by this drizzly weekend.

(Images: Manao Thai Street Eats)

(Images: Manao Thai Street Eats)

First, Manao Thai Street Eats is open at 13th and E Pine. CHS talked with Teeraya (Cezeaux) Silpi about her new venture with business partner Montida Lertkiatsakul earlier this year. The partners previously owned Kent Station’s Banyan Tree and Lower Queen Anne’s Thai Fusion separately before collaborating the street-food themed restaurant. The menu runs the gamut from fresh rolls to tom yum soup to which phad you desire and prices top out around $12 a dish. Manao neighbors another member of the Asian-flavored wave — Shibumi Izakaya opened on E Pine in April. Hours are 11a to 10p Monday through Thursday, 11a to 1a on Friday and Saturday and noon to 9p on Sundays. You can check out the menu and learn more at

10582768_721217651249068_8003126096952799471_oMeanwhile, Oma Bap has been open at 12th and Cherry for a few weeks but is celebrating is grand opening this weekend. The Korean fast-styled but not fast-food purveyor of bibimap fled the high rents of Bellevue for…. the less high rents of 12th Ave just south of the relentless battlefront that is the southern expansion of Capitol Hill(tm).

Both Oma Bap and Manao, one might note, are making their homes in retail space inside new development.

Stop by 12th and Cherry this weekend and you’ll get a deal — and advance the Hill’s march toward world domination.

You can learn more at

In big week for Capitol Hill film, Local Sightings festival returns for 17th year

With scenes from across Capitol Hill, Local Sightings film Nothing Against Life explores depression and suicide

With scenes from across Capitol Hill, Local Sightings film Nothing Against Life explores depression and suicide

Courtney Sheehan is at the helm for the 17th annual Local Sightings film festival (Image: NWFF/Sarah Styles)

Courtney Sheehan is at the helm for the 17th annual Local Sightings film festival (Image: NWFF/Sarah Styles)

Regional filmmakers will again flock to Capitol Hill as the Northwest Film Forum opens the Local Sightings Film Festival Thursday night.

“It’s definitely one of the tentpoles of the year,” program manager Courtney Sheehan said. “I’m super excited. I’m really excited about the many different things we will have.”

The event features a host of local screenings, expansive classes and an extended Seattle Film Summit, which aims to bring together filmmakers in the Seattle industry into a forum of open discussion about the state of making movies in the Pacific Northwest. Continue reading

Central Seattle airwaves make room for KXSU and KHER radio

New -- much smaller -- towers are coming to E Union and 12th Ave (Image: Jeanine Anderson via Flickr)

New — much smaller — towers are coming to E Union and 12th Ave (Image: Jeanine Anderson via Flickr)

We’re broadcasting this story via the Internet to tell you that two Capitol Hill area radio stations are making progress toward broadcasting via the air above Capitol Hill and the Central District — and about 3.5 miles in all directions as the crow flies.

Earlier this spring, CHS reported on efforts at Seattle University’s student station KSUB and Central District online broadcaster Hollow Earth Radio to secure low power FM broadcast permission from the FCC and deploy new meatspace broadcasting towers and equipment.

Both Hollow Earth and Seattle U’s station announced this week that they have secured construction permits from the FCC. Continue reading

Mayor’s tour talks crime, yes, but also trash, blocked sidewalks, dark streets — Where are your Capitol Hill Find It, Fix It spots?

Citizens -- and the mayor -- on patrol (Images: CHS)

Citizens — and the mayor — on patrol (Images: CHS)

This woman had an idea to fix something at Broadway and Pine -- so the tour and Capt. John Hayes stopped to listen

This woman had an idea to fix something at Broadway and Pine — so the tour stopped to listen

The TV cameras were there for the Pike/Pine “crime spike.” But Wednesday night’s Capitol Hill Find It, Fix It walk with the mayor and several top city officials was mostly about things like streetlights, dumpsters, and blocked sidewalks.

“This is not about one night of safety this is about building relationships with the departments,” Mayor Ed Murray said at the conclusion of the walk, the eighth and final his office organized over the summer.

Pike/Pine business owner -- and dad -- Dave Meinert talks with Chief O'Toole

Pike/Pine business owner — and dad — Dave Meinert talks with Chief O’Toole

While the TV crews pressed in tightly for SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole to reiterate her strategy for Pike/Pine emphasis patrols and data-driven policing, City Hall representatives including the head of Murray’s Department of Transportation, his Seattle Fire Chief, and City Council member Sally Clark waited patiently for the walk to leave the park and make a handful of stops between 12th Ave, E Pike, and Broadway to hear from community representatives about some of the issues — and opportunities — the neighborhood is facing.

  • Homelessness: At 11th Ave’s Central Lutheran where Community Lunch On Capitol Hill serves meals to hundreds of homeless people every week, Pastor Cindy Salo told the assembled city officials, police, and community members that this had been “one of the most difficult summers” in terms of the numbers of homeless she is seeing. Continue reading

Capitol Hill theater group crowdfunding special effects for first production at 12th Ave Arts

Last week, we showed you inside the major Capitol Hill theater and development project opening this fall at 12th Ave Arts. One of the companies that will be resident in the 12th Ave Arts theater facilities is looking for community support for the high-concept live theater special effects planned as part of its first show in the Studio Theater. The $3,210 pitch from the Washington Ensemble Theatre is above. You can learn more and pitch in here:

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 2.48.00 PMIn January 2015, The Ensemble will open the 12th Ave Arts building with the world premiere of Josh Conkel’s darkly hilarious Sprawl. Cornish alum and writer of The Ensemble’s eighth season smash success Milk, Milk, Lemonade, Conkel’s Sprawl nestles a group of friends and frenemies in a Washington suburban model home for a book club meeting only to have them witness the brutally campy end of the world. Part Mars Attacks and part Serial Mom, Sprawl reminds us that beneath suburban tranquility there are nasty secrets that are wickedly laughable. This production continues and expands The Ensemble’s legacy of big, wild design elements as it requires flying alien insects, battle robots, and crystals that sprout from the ground before our eyes! The questions is: how do we make this playwright’s vision come to life in the most thrilling way possible for our community? This November, the Ensemble will spend a week in a warehouse space experimenting with giant puppets, remote control robots, and motion capture video projection technology. Our goal is to develop new methods of integrating cutting-edge technology with existing theatre traditions, and we can’t do it without your help! With $3,000, we’ll be able to pay for the space, purchase robots, small drones, and reimburse our artists for their time.


Capitol Hill theater company stages one final performance before move to 12th Ave Arts

Inside the future home of the Main Stage at 12th Ave Arts (Image: CHS)

Inside the future home of the Main Stage at 12th Ave Arts (Image: CHS)

Ali el-Gasseir's WET will be one of three theater groups resident in the new development (Image: CHS)

Ali el-Gasseir’s WET will be one of three theater groups resident in the new development (Image: CHS)

By Rayna Stackhouse with reporting by Justin Carder

Greg Carter and Strawberry Theatre Workshop aren’t about to get rich. But the company is putting on one last show on Capitol Hill the old-fashioned theatre way.

“Our industry doesn’t work very well in a capitalist model,” says Carter. “The rich get rich, while the poor get poorer.”

While the city’s behemoth performance and arts organizations like Seattle Opera have a full staff to raise money, sell tickets and can support and pay their performers, small theater companies around Capitol Hill typically barely scrape by. The money they make is mostly from tickets and booze, Carter says.

The 12th Ave Arts building, slated to open in early November, should help change that equation for Strawshop and its two companion theater companies, Washington Ensemble Theatre and New Century Theater Company, teaming up to form a new kind of arts organization resident in the new Capitol Hill Housing development.

Capitol Hill Housing and Black Box representatives were on hand this week for a “hard hat” tour of the new building. The $47 million $38 million, 29,000 square-foot 12th Ave Arts project is creating 88 affordable apartment units, office space, retail space and a theater facility above parking that will also be utilized by Seattle Police’s East Precinct.

The project is the result of a two-decade push from community groups and organizations to create something greater with the East Precinct parking lot that used to call the land home.

Capitol Hill Housing’s Michael Seiwerath said it was community pressure that finally moved the project through the mire at City Hall.

“These citizen volunteers went down there and said there’s a better use for this,” he said about the old, barbed wire-ringed police parking lot.

In a most unusual twist on the typical “mixed-use” development around the Hill, 12th Ave Arts will also have two fully tricked out, state of the art performance spaces totaling nearly 6,000 square feet: one with room for 149 seats, the other Studio Stage with an 80-person capacity. Hardcore theater geeks will nerd out at the catwalks above and sound suppression enveloping both venues. Continue reading

12th Ave community group votes for apartment development over city ‘pocket park’

Reverb-Spectrum-11th-And-AlderIn response to a condemnation order placed on a site owned by real estate firm Spectrum Development Solutions at 11th and Alder in order to build a new pocket park, the 12th Avenue Stewards community group has voted unanimously to rescind the order and allow the construction project to continue rather than begin design on a new public space.

Following the vote, Mayor Ed Murray officially withdrew the proposed condemnation order, representatives tell CHS.

“This issue is something that has been difficult for the group,” said Bill Zosel, vice-chair of the 12th Avenue Stewards told CHS in a statement on the vote. Continue reading